RIFTS

The Setting

“It’s 100 years in the future. Humankind has enjoyed a Golden Age of peace, prosperity and advancement. We’ve conquered most diseases, bottled the fountain of youth, extended our life span to 200+ years, and our toys are nano-technology and the genetic code. Our cities look like something out of a science fiction novel complete with robots, androids, and flying cars. Our future appears grand … then it all comes to a crashing stop.

Imagine the end of the world. The movie Day After Tomorrow meets Nightmare on Elm Street.

In addition to the mass destruction and total chaos, lines of blue energy appear across the world. Where two or more lines meet, tears in space and time occur. From these Rifts emerge strange, alien beings. Some seem as mortal, scared and confused as you. Others are demons from the very pits of hell. At other places along the lines, weird and alien wildlife appear overnight. People start to manifest magical and psychic powers, ancient gods appear to claim portions of the land, titans clash and the landscape changes. It is pure and utter madness.

Fast forward 300 years.

It’s the planet Earth, but one you’d barely recognize. It has been transformed into a patchwork of a thousand alien worlds with doorways to infinite realities.

Imagine each State, Province, and Country an alien environment. One place may be a beautiful woodland, another is an alien jungle, another is dominated by humanoid insect people, another is filled with dinosaurs. Over there is the land of faeries or dragons. Over here is a place at war with itself. Some lands shift and change daily, while others straddle two or three realities at the same time.

At one location, people thrive locked away inside a massive fortified city of technology. Robots and black armored sentinels patrol its streets and strike down anything that isn’t human. At another location is a city of magic and wonder. Dragons and a hundred different alien races live in harmony with human beings and share the secrets of magic and alien science. Across the sea is a land of wonder, magic, and monsters. Another stretch of wilderness is dominated by dinosaurs and elsewhere, castles in the sky drift over grassy plains and bands of monster riders. Beyond the haunted mountains … who knows?

The lines of blue energy have calmed down and the Rifts are no longer a daily occurence. Still, they open at random intervals throughout the year to unleash new alien beings or monsters into our world, or serve as portals to a thousand planets waiting to be visited.

Some people have come to accept and embrace magic, some wield superhuman psychic abilities, while others rely entirely on advanced or alient technology. To cope with the harsh environment, humans have rediscovered some of the wonders of the Golden Agr and use bionics, suits of power armor, giant robot constructs, and chemical augmentation or have turned to magic and other means to turn themselves into supermen.

Now image being able to travel to countless alient worlds and civilizations. Not in a rocket ship, but by simply opening a Rift in space and time and stepping through it.

Welcome to Rifts Earth, the intersection to the infinite Megaverse. A bus stop where dragons, gods and dimensional travelers come to find or create a dimensional door to wherever it is they want to go. A nexus to the Megaverse like Rifts Earth is a rarity. So rare that the god-like powers and galaxy conquerors have all unofficially taken a hands-off policy, leaving humans and the other displaced alien people to fend for themselves.

Thus, humans struggle to reclaim the world, battle against alien, magic and supernatural forces, and learn to live with displaced alien people as mortal, frightened and vulnerable as they – well, almost." – Rifts Ultimate Edition

Welcome to Crown City

It’s Spring, 109 PA. Crown City remains as a footnote to both the Earth’s problems and North America’s problems… and that’s just where they want to stay. Rumors start coming in about Tolkeen’s fall to the Coalition States (CS), which has not only saddened magic-users everywhere, but has made the CS feel ever stronger. With that strength comes confidence. Confidence in their Emperor, confidence in their “War Machine”, and confidence in their belief that if you are not of this world, or practice magic in any way, you will meet your doom.

Meanwhile, somewhere in the Magic Zone (which used to simply be called the Ohio Valley), the Federation of Magic is growing. They are taking what they can, bolstering their forces, and gaining strength in whatever dark arts they can get their hands on. So close to the Magic Zone, Crown City will soon be in the shadow of the Fed … it’s just a matter of time.

But there soon may be cause for joy. Stormspire, the techno-wizard city, has taken a commercial interest in Crown City, as many gems have been found in the mine across the river which may fuel their TW items. More work means more miners. However, while Stormspire is a valued ally, they are no match for the Feds, and would rather wash their hands of Crown City when the time comes and lose their stake than fight … unless Crown City is deserving of their protection for some reason.

At some point, Crown City will either be crushed or rise to the occasion. Choose wisely.

Rifts: The Path Between Giants

Path between giants Tremus ashromm mirroroferised Shadowkiller